A German Regional Court refuses to extend the protection of legal privilege to internal audit documents

Under certain conditions documents in the possession of companies are excluded from seizure during a dawn raid by the European Commission or the national competition authorities. These conditions under which the principle of legal privilege applies are not harmonized within the EU and differ under the national laws of the member states. According to the legal practice of the European Commission and the European Courts documents are legally privileged if they are prepared (i) by external lawyers (ii) for the general purpose and the interest of their clients' right of defence [1]. Under German law, however, documents which are kept by the company itself are only protected by legal privilege if they have been produced (i) by external lawyers (ii) after the initiation and in connection

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  • Commeo (Frankfurt)

Quotation

Isabel Oest, A German Regional Court refuses to extend the protection of legal privilege to internal audit documents, 12 June 2012, e-Competitions Bulletin Legal privilege, Art. N° 49699

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